NCAA

14 NCAA Tournament teams to cheer for based on school colors and uniforms

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USA TODAY Sports

14 NCAA Tournament teams to cheer for based on school colors and uniforms

OK, so the NCAA Tournament starts this week and everyone around you is buzzing about which team is the best and which ones will get to the Final Four.

They’re filling out brackets and are confident about their upset picks, and you want in on the fun. But the problem is you haven’t followed college hoops closely this season, or you went to a football school, or you simply don’t care.

That shouldn’t stop you from having fun and making a bracket, and we’re here to help. The good news is that no matter how much or how little you know about college basketball, it’s practically impossible to correctly pick the national champion. So why not make a bracket based on something fun and still have it be competitive?

Going into the first round, here are 14 teams to cheer for based on the best uniform color schemes.

RELATED: OFFICIAL MARCH MADNESS BRACKET

South Region

No. 1 seed Virginia

There are only a couple orange-based color combinations that work, and the Cavaliers have it figured out. Against a dominantly navy backdrop, the orange letters really pop. And on the white uniforms, the orange is clean and not obnoxious.

No. 4 seed Arizona

The Wildcats sport a classic red, white and blue look, and that’s a popular color combination. But they also tend to play around with shading, starting with blue at the top and bleeding into a slight purple before hitting full-blown red. They do something similar with their white uniforms too. Overall, it’s a creative take on traditional colors.

No. 6 seed Miami

The Hurricanes’ all-orange uniforms are polarizing: You either love them or hate them. The bright orange is not my favorite. But their forest green look with subtle orange letters is fantastic and unique among this season’s tournament teams.

No. 10 seed Texas

The Longhorns put all their eggs in one basket with their burnt orange uniforms, but they’re standouts. There’s no question about which team is playing when you see these uniforms, and it’s a great look. If not paired with navy or dark green, this is really the only other way to make orange look amazing.

West Region

No. 2 seed North Carolina

Love or hate the Tar Heels, their colors are so universally adored that “Carolina blue” is an actual color name that people regularly use. Even if you always root against Roy Williams and UNC, you’ve got to admit that Carolina blue is an easy color to like.

No. 4 seed Gonzaga

The Zags rock a similar color scheme to Arizona, and they’re not quite as creative with it, but their colors are still pretty great. Their regular uniforms are timeless, but their alternates are actually spectacular. Regardless of which ones they wear in the tournament, you can’t hate on their look.

No. 9 seed Florida State

Variations of red and gold are a popular color scheme, but the Seminoles always look good with their garnet and gold combo. As opposed to a bright red that can be abrasive, sporting one of the darkest shades of red is a subtle and classy look. 

RELATED: BUBBLE TEAMS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

East Region

No. 11 seed UCLA

The Bruins’ blue and gold is a timeless look, and it’s easy to like because the blue often deviates from the versions of royal blue that we get with teams like Duke, Kentucky and Kansas. UCLA’s blue is softer, and the light gold lettering and embellishments make this scheme a classic.

No. 13 seed Marshall

The Thundering Herd might have the most standout, eye-catching colors and uniforms in the whole NCAA Tournament. There is nothing bad you can say about a bright Kelly green and white, with black on the alternate uniforms. It’s not an obnoxious, highlighter shade of green; it’s a cool, chill shade that will still make people do a double take.

No. 14 seed SF Austin

The Lumberjacks do purple, and this is another polarizing color. However, not many teams rock purple, and they do it well. If you’re really big on purple and want to back more teams with this color scheme, Kansas State and TCU are solid options as well.

Midwest

No. 3 seed Michigan State

While the Spartans’ vivacious green uniforms aren’t the greatest, the traditional forest green is distinct yet not over-the-top. The green and white is similar to what’s great about Miami’s colors. They’re unique but not in a bad way.

No. 7 seed Rhode Island

The Rams have a great take on white and two variations of blue. With a lighter shade that resembles Carolina blue, a dark navy gives their uniforms a great contrast. More teams should try playing with different shades of the same color because Rhode Island really makes it work.

No. 10 seed Oklahoma

OK, so I can’t advise picking both Rhode Island and Oklahoma because it’s impossible if you play in a traditional bracket. These two teams play each other in the first round, but the Sooners still have great uniforms. This is another way red can work as the dominant color. It’s not insanely bright, but it’s not overly dark either.

No. 16 seed Penn

First, it’s important to note that a 16 seed has never upset a No. 1, and it’s unlikely that Penn will do it against Kansas this year. However, the Quakers embrace their centuries-old roots with their red and blue colors and uniforms. They have a colonial vibe to them, and their road dark blue ones are simple yet solid.

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RELATED: DARK HORSES TO MAKE IT TO THE FINAL FOUR

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

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After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

SAN ANTONIO -- Virginia coach Tony Bennett isn't going to waver from his foundation, whether it's the philosophy that built the Cavaliers into a contender or the big-picture perspective that helps him handle the sting of a historically improbable loss.

Both ends of that approach are fully on display now as he is named The Associated Press men's college basketball coach of the year.

Bennett won the honor Thursday after his Cavaliers set a program single-season record for wins, dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference and reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era. Yet that wildly successful season ended abruptly in the most unexpected way: with the Cavaliers falling to UMBC to become the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed in NCAA Tournament history.

"They experienced things a lot of guys don't," Bennett said in an interview with the AP. "That kind of success? Oh my gosh. And then that kind of loss? ... But again, their body of work deserves to be celebrated.

"And then so much of what society looks at -- it begs the question -- is it just about how you do in March? Or is it about the whole thing? It's a fair debate (on) what matters. But I told them: I wouldn't trade this team for anything. Even the experiences, as hard as they are, this is part of the process."

Bennett was the runaway winner for the award, which is being presented at the Final Four. He earned 50 of 65 votes from AP Top 25 writers with ballots submitted before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee's Rick Barnes was second with five votes after leading the Volunteers to 26 wins and an NCAA bid despite being picked to finish 13th in the 14-team Southeastern Conference. First-year Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was third with four votes.

This marks the second time Bennett has won the award, the other coming in 2007 when he was at Washington State.

In Bennett's ninth season, the Cavaliers (31-3) went from being picked to finish sixth in the ACC to winning the regular-season race by four games -- the first to win the ACC by that wide a margin since 2000. It then won the ACC Tournament to complete a 20-1 run against league opponents.

MORE NCAA: BEST BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Virginia also reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since December 1982 and stayed there the final five weeks of the regular season, the last two unanimously.

And yet, the 48-year-old coach knows much of the focus will be on how things ended: that 74-54 loss to the Retrievers while playing without ACC sixth man of the year De'Andre Hunter.

Dealing with a roster of players in pained disbelief, Bennett said he has told them that they have "an unbelievable captive audience" waiting to see how they would handle it.

"I said how you respond to this will matter to your mom and dads, to your brothers, your sisters, your friends," Bennett said. "If they see that you're not fake about it, that yeah, of course you're going to be discouraged and down after a loss like that, but that you're OK. You can live with it.

"I said: you don't know the power that that's going to have in their life and in your life."

Bennett said he appreciated other coaches offering support, which included Syracuse Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim noting: "If I could hire a coach in this country and I could get Tony Bennett, there would be nobody in second place."

He said he's still reviewing what worked and what didn't, but "certainly you don't overreact" by changing everything that had brought the Cavaliers to this point.

This is, after all, a program that has been a 1-seed three times in the past five seasons with three ACC regular-season titles.

And Bennett won't be deterred from chasing more, even if it means stumbling a few more times on the way to reaching his goals.

"You better have something beyond the opinion of man or just how you feel, because this stuff is fleeting," Bennett said.

"So that's where obviously my faith is everything to me. You hear people talk about their faith in the lord and the relationship with the people that they care about, their family and their trusted friends. Those things stand the test of time. And that's what you have to draw from. And then you move on."